University students sing a new tune

GWVibes is the newest a cappella singing group to join the ranks of the established Troubadours and Pitches.

Six-hour long tryouts resulted in the creation of an eight-woman and six-man co-educational a cappella group, an event spurred by the interests of co-directors Bess Pampeck and Alyssa Roeder.

Pampeck said the audition turnout was incredible, with a new person being auditioned every 10 minutes until 1:30 a.m. Pampeck said the scene proved a point she has been making since she transferred to GW last year – GW students want a place to sing, she said.

I was overwhelmed and amazed at the turnout, Pampeck said. I told myself, `Yes, the interest is here.’

Everyone said, `I just want to be singing,’ said Roeder, who transferred from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. last year and has seen firsthand how singing groups can become popular on campus.

I came from a college of about 2,000 students, and we had five a cappella groups, Roeder said. GW, with more than 7,000 undergraduate students, has only four groups, including the Zmirnotes, which is associated with Hillel. This is a fact that Pampeck, a transfer student from Skidmore College, said she hopes to change.

College a cappella groups can bring a school together in a big way, Pampeck said. There is such a potential for a real community to start here.

Both Roeder and Pampeck already have begun to bring GW’s four groups together, meeting with the music department and creating lines of communication between the groups, Pampeck said.

We wanted to begin creating a community from the get-go, she said.

This is a community that Katherine Fischkoff, director of the Pitches, GW’s all-female a cappella group, also sees on the horizon.

Now more than ever, there is a chance for everyone to sing who wants to, which is wonderful, Fischkoff said.

When we started the Pitches, there was only one group on campus, said Fischkoff, whose group entertains by singing contemporary music and performing at GW and other universities.

An outdoor music festival, in which all of GW’s singing groups may participate, is also being planned for the spring, Fischkoff said.

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